December 30, 2006
Executive Agenda/Working Paper
Presented by Jordan National Movement to
His Majesty King Abdullah II
Amman, Jordan
His Majesty King Abdullah II,

Jordan is confronted with numerous economic, political, security and demographic challenges, and if not appropriately, boldly and swiftly tackled, they will have a profound impact on the country’s short and long-terms stability and welfare. We, at the Jordanian National Movement (JNM), whose national agenda is fully committed to the advancement of the country and its people, consider ourselves as a major and reliable strategic partner for the Hashemite leadership to confront and address these strategic issues. We firmly believe that the Jordan National Movement’s platform is a viable program to tackle these challenges and to aid the country’s leadership to manage current and emerging challenges and lessen their negative impacts. However, these efforts will not succeed unless competent and reliable individuals are placed in the right positions, including the royal court and other executive government agencies. To that end, the JNM is willing, ready and capable of providing a qualified, diverse and representative team to assume its patriotic responsibilities to serve the people of Jordan as directed by your majesty.

The Jordan National Movement (JNM) is pleased to present this Executive Summary/Working Paper to you. The purpose of this framework is to initiate a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the royal court and Jordanian people in order to reform and enhance the current political, economic and social state of affairs in Jordan.

JNM proposes the following items for discussion:

1) State of democracy and political reforms: need critical constitutional amendments to elect a representative and national government and maintain a dynamic, participatory and proactive political status of the Hashemite family;

2) Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly: need fair and impartial Parliament and Senate elections and press/media reforms;

3) The under representation of Jordanians in the decision making process circles: need to reshuffle the Royal Court and other governmental senior positions and place the right person in the right position in these political and national institutions;
4) Poverty, unemployment, and ongoing severe corruption (According to a very recent scientific poll conducted in Jordan, 64.7 per cent of respondents from the national sample believe that corruption is rampant within the public sector, and 52.1 per cent said it was more widespread in the private sector: need clear and serious strategies to fight each major problem. We need to connect the money laundering issue with corruption and deterioration in the Jordanian standard of living. Our people can no longer afford to live in their country. Foreign “dirty monies” are destroying the economic base of our people. Jordanians are competing with foreign nationals on very limited resources: basic services and real estate;
5) Current policy on issue of Palestinian settlement in Jordan and disengagement with the West Bank. There should be an unequivocally clear position on these issues by the royal court and government. The government should immediately tackle this issue with clear policy and constant enforcement; and

6) Links with terrorism to the above….the absence of the aforementioned strategic dimensions would keep generating more terrorists and security problems in the country, the region and beyond.

To address the above issues and problems, there should be specific programs in place, and they should be implemented immediately. JNM recommends the following strategies:

1) Re-training Jordan’s labor force participants, particularly within higher education institutions, in both the public and private sectors to address the country’s economic and development needs.

2) Establishing funding programs to help out needy Jordanian students throughout the country and allow them the opportunity to attend colleges and universities inside and outside the country; current programs lack funding and do not address the country’s poor population.

3) Legislating an income tax system and enforcing it cross the board (no exceptions) so Jordan can rely on its internal resources to address its funding needs in education, health, training, etc.

4) Restricting illegal immigration (coming from Palestinian territories, Iraq, Lebanon, etc). This is mainly due to critical issues and local concerns, such as organizing the labor market, limiting immigration, and maintaining and monitoring Jordan’s limited natural and national resources.

5) Initiating and implementing rural refugee camps and Badia development programs…Development projects must not be focused totally on the capital, Amman…These programs must be led by and entrusted with experienced and trustworthy community leaders who have a better understanding of local community and national needs. The JNM applauds the recent economic project that HM King Abdullah II has put forward for Al-Mafraq Governorate. The JNM believes that such initiative, if fully implemented, would be very crucial to alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living for the area residents and other neighboring communities. It is our sincere hope, however, that the leadership of this important undertaking will be entrusted to professional and competent individuals who have the dedication to serve their local communities fully and unconditionally. It is also our hope that other communities in the country would be given the same opportunity as Al-Mafraq so all Jordanians can enjoy the fruits and dividends of the economic development that Jordan is reaping.

6) Developing an effective agenda and strategic leadership to provide sustainable improvement to peoples’ lives. There should be effective, focused and consistent efforts to fight poverty throughout the country by enacting new effective laws, hiring and supporting community leaders, and giving more authority to local communities to lead these concerted efforts in critical areas such as education, agriculture, water and nuclear power plants, and the current infrastructure.

7) Forming an independent and representative committee with a clear time frame to review the current constitution and make the necessary constitutional amendments that meet the challenges of the 21st century, including a new elections law for Parliament and municipalities.

8) Fighting all forms of corruption, misappropriation and misuse of public funds systematically and at the highest levels of the state, including the royal court.

9) Forming a national government comprised of ethical, national, professional and hardworking personalities to salvage the country from the current exacerbating situation and introduce and implement long-awaited constitutional and legal reforms.

10) Involving Jordan National Movement (JNM) in forming such an agenda. JNM leadership has to be invited to participate in governmental formulations and consultations until pending constitutional amendments and political reforms take place in the country.

11) Encouraging foreign investment must not be done at the expense of the eroding middle class and country’s limited resources; therefore, investment laws must be refined and amended to ensure transparency in granting Jordanian citizenship to foreign investors and refugees.

12) Seeking solid direct foreign investment opportunities in the country without compromising national interests and resources.

In conclusion, the Jordanian National Movement and its leadership strive to have a country whose government embraces freedom of expression and liberty for all citizens, free trade and investment, robust accountability of its public officials and those of the private sector, and an unequivocal transparency in its decision-making process. Therefore, if the movement is given the opportunity to govern and assume proactive leadership, it will be a great asset and instrument of positive change to lead Jordan in the right direction for a better future under the Hashemite leadership.

JNM is looking forward to a productive national dialogue!

End of Executive Summary/working paper

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